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Design for One is Design for All: The Past, Present and Future of Universal Design for Aging

July 2018

​Specialized designs and technologies, often mandated by the ADA Accessibility Standards, are inadequate to meet the needs and abilities of older adults.  In contrast, universal design is an appropriate, but underused strategy for design for aging.  On the one hand, universal design is seen as merely another name for specialized designed, while on the other hand, it has been dismissed as an unattainable utopian panacea.  This webinar will trace the history of universal design, from its beginnings as a utopian concept in the world of physical objects and spaces, to the struggle for attainment through the often times contradictory Principles, to a practical reconceptualization in the world of emerging and evolving digital technologies. The webinar will describe what UD is and what it is not; why it’s potential to be a panacea for design for aging is unattainable in the physical world from which it emerged, and how it is poised to become a reality and fulfill its promise through the world of digital technologies.

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